Burt Bacharach – In Conversation – 1964 – Past Daily Talking Music
– Burt Bacharach – BBC Interview – December 2, 1964 – BBC Archives –
Seems almost every week the news of another passing of another icon, another indelible figure, another defining voice in so many of our lives fills the news. Although he was 94 at the time of his death, the loss of Burt Bacharach has been a painful ordeal, particularly to those whose lives had been shaped (or at least influenced) by his music, even though we keep telling ourselves his was a long and precious haul – a life well lived. That he was universally loved across the board by so many representatives of so many genres of music attests to just how much of an influence he had on Popular music through all these decades. That he was still active and performing up to the time of his death is a testament to the timelessness of his words and his music.
Trying to convey some sense of what people at the time were hearing, particularly during the mid-60s and a period when the music of Burt Bacharach was seemingly everywhere, being performed by a virtual who’s who of Popular musicians at the time, to get an idea of who was this person and what was this gift and how did he do it, I ran across a 1964 BBC interview, done during a time he was, by his own admission, on a Musical vacation as Marlene Dietrich’s Music Director in London. It was recorded on December 2, 1964
Discussing the nuts and bolts of any creative endeavor is always instructive and insights can be highly influential in shaping our own paths and voices. Burt Bacharach was one of the great Tunesmiths of American Popular Music – his craft and how he arrived at it gives some indication, or at least a big clue, that he did a lot of listening and was influenced by a wide range of musical genres himself and that he did dive into life. Further proof you can’t be creative or have anything to say in isolation.
The music of Burt Bacharach has been about the human condition – thoughts, fears and hopes of the average person – the universality of our feelings – the notion we are more similar than different and the seemingly effortless ability to convey them through notes, phrases and gestures. It’s the place genius resides.
I would like to think Burt Bacharach cleared a path and built a road – a road others who are taken by the Muse will gladly walk down and be inspired to clear their own paths for others to follow. All that’s needed is an open mind, a willing spirit and an acceptance of life as an example to tap from.
Burt Bacharach will be sorely missed – but he left behind a treasure trove of inspiration and ideas. I have often felt that the measure of a life was what you did to make it a better place – how did you provide a solution – did you add anything to the conversation? It’s think its safe to say Burt Bacharach left an eternity’s worth of love and joy. The least we can do is to keep it going.
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